Welding Table plans/pictures?

I need to put together a welding table. Can anyone point me to some plans or better yet, I'd love to see some tables put together by members
of this group.
TIA
Jay Cups
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We have never made a welding table... But blanchard ground table tops for drilling fixtures are a plenty... Would you like to see some PDF drawings of those?
reply here or directly to me with an e-mail address and I'll shoot you ome. - or anyone for that matter... Just let me know.
Otherwise, you can check out www.americangrinding.com and their "Brute Machine Bases" for some VERY nice tables.
--


Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
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Seen a lot of shop made welding tables. Don't recall ever seeing one made from drawings. Just a big ol' slab of metal with some pipe legs. Couldn't get more detailed than that unless I know what you're welding. If you put that D-8 cat block on it and it collapses then make 'er a bit beefyer next time.
Or maybe your talking about a brick stand for gas welding?
Bud
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I made a small welding table out of a square piece of steel, with a small piece of angle welded to the bottom. I simply mount it in a vise (which grips that piece of angle) when I need to weld.
I plan a bigger welding table and will make it the same way.
i
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JayCups wrote:

I had a 30" square piece of 3/8" plate steel which I used for about 15 years as a welding table, still do. For a long time I'd just set the plate on top of a used 55 gallon drum when I wanted to weld. I made some cool projects with it, here's a surface plate stand:
http://www.tinyisland.com/images/splate2.jpg
The welding table is right behind the project in the picture. You can also see my little buzzbox welder in its cage. In those days I had a long cord which ran inside to the dryer outlet.
Nowadays I still use that plate but on a much more solid stand I scrounged. When I need a bigger table I use the shop floor. When I have to build a large frame, for example if I were going to build a 5x10' utility trailer, I'd use 2 steel sawhorses with 7 foot pieces of 3-1/2" square tube tacked to the tops. I set the sawhorses up and get each sawhorse level, don't worry about level the other way. (That's a Randy Z trick.)
Igor's idea about a tiny welding table held in a vise is an excellent one. Ernie has one like that and says it's the one he uses the most.
I don't believe in large monolithic welding tables unless you have a huge outside yard you can keep it in with protection from the weather. Space is just too expensive these days. Of course, if you have a huge old barn with nothing but space, go for it.
Grant
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I built one that bears a certain resemblance to Grant's surface plate stand, at least the lower part. I welded four pieces of 3 in. thin wall square tubing to a piece of 5/16 inch steel, about 20 x 30 in. Then I welded four pieces of 1/2 x 2 in. tubing between them, about halfway down as bracing. I made four plates, appropriately drilled for casters, and welded them on the bottoms of the legs (see Grant's picture). Finally, I bolted a cheap HF vise to one corner and covered the rest of the surface with 1" thick firebrick, welding 1/2 square tubing around the edge to hold the firebrick in place.
I built this about six years ago and am fairly happy with it. It is easy to "park" out of the way when it's not being used (my shop is extremely crowded) and to roll out when I need it or need the space where it usually sits.
The one downside is that the brick surface is not perfectly flat, so I keep a couple scraps of decent sized 1/2" thick plates I can put under a joint that needs to be precise and clamp the work, plate and all to the top of the table, supporting the ends of the work as necessary with wooden blocks and wedges. Works good...
Jerry
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JayCups wrote:

Mine is a very different style, I use it all day every day, and it really works great for what I do. I put two shots in the drop box weldingtable.txt and weldingtable1&2.jpg. Sorry about the photo quality.
http://www.metalworking.com/dropbox/Weldingtable.txt
Stuart
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Stuart,
That is one hell of a table. It is a little over the top for my needs.
I just picked up an old Heliarc 250 HF to replace my old Sears cracker box. I now finally have TIG capability. 8^) I am just a retired tinkerer and I'd just like to cobble together a decent table for some of my projects. Most of the plans I found on the Net looked pretty light weight. I figured I'd probably end up with a scrounged piece of plate, but I'd like to add some features. Hence the request to steal some good ideas.
Thanks to all
Jay
Stuart Wheaton wrote:

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Looks like a very practical table.
i
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Jay, it is difficult to advise you on this because of the many different types of welding.
For example:
My table is 1/4 x 2" angle iron. It is ten feet long, four feet wide. It has four lengthwise rails, and two end pieces, making the top have six pieces. I have one rail 12" off the edge, and the other 18".
I have hangers under the table for tools, especially of my own design. I will try to get a pic in the dropbox soon.
I mainly make a lot of wrought iron, so this is a wrought iron table. I have seen lots and lots of welding tables, and one size does not fit all. Mainly you want something that is strong, versatile, and that will go along with what you do. Many times, this has to be made from the experiences within the head of the person going to use it. Sometimes, all you need is a flat piece of plate.
Tinker with your thoughts. Think what you would like to use it for. How much does it have to support? How big are the pieces? Does it have to be long and flat, like to make gates or fence panels? Think about those things, and you will be closer to your table.
HTH, and will get that photo in the dropobox.
Steve
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Max
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Thanks Max,
I like that one. It is about the size want. Well thought out. I especially like those drawers.
What is the thickness is the top plate?
Jay
Max wrote:

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1/4". It is fastened with flat head bolts, countersunk. I didn't want it welded on in case I decided to go to either a larger table or a thicker top. It's on casters so I can move it away from the wall for larger projects. see: http://tinyurl.com/2kwmsx
It has worked very well for a little over 15 years.
Max
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JayCups wrote:

Here is my version:
http://members.aol.com/vrzalfla/Projects.htm
Sits 4' X 4' and 32" high
Rolls on 4" phenolic casters very easy and stays put when I screw the machine levelers down to meet the ground and lift the table slightly. I left plenty of edge so I can use my clamps without a lot of hassle.
If I ever get around to doing this again I'm going to split this in half and make them 2 X 4 and be able to lock them together when needed.
Enjoy
Jim Vrzal Holiday, Fl.
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I haven't finished mine yet, blaming the usual life's distractions, but we know better.
Anyway, I got a couple heavy truck brake drums, welded some C channel to the top, and to that I welded on some 2" square tubing, with the top about my elbow height. I have the next size up square tubing which fits over it (okay, it doesn't fit so well; I didn't buy the stuff without the ridge inside) and to a piece will be attached a 20" or so diameter piece of 1/2" steel plate. Drill and tap some holes near the edge for work holding, and we'll see how it does. I have some of the larger tubing cut to 3" pieces, welded together at right angles (welded on nuts to secure them to the 2" square tubing wherever you want), with the plan to put little arms that stick out where I want them, and bringing a vertical out at some convenient spot. I can either use one of the added arms to mount a vice, grinder, seat for my butt, or whatever. Sort of a modular system. At this point, I have two posts on the drums, and my vice mounted to the top of one. Life changed, so did my ability to finish them shortly after I started. Holds my vice really well, with the heavy base the next best thing to being mounted on my workbench, but with more access and function (just not the weight capacity, unfortunately, but I couldn't put a breaker bar on my workbench either) I plan on doing a couple more, and by mounting a larger table top to two drum posts, I can make a larger table. It just keeps getting heavier if I let it...
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It pretty much goes without saying that the bench you need will depend on the work you do. production welders have very different needs from guys who tinker. the type of things you weld, as well as their size will determine the type of bench you need. Here are a few random ideas, some are obviously appropriate only for a big shop;
bigger is better. if your bench isnt small enough to pick up, then bigger is better, as long as you can resist the urge to pile it high with junk ;-) some of the benches i've worked on have been as big as 10'x10'. it is really nice to be able to put big heavy things up there to work on, but then you'll probably want a gantry too... you can build one cheaply, using an electric 12V boat hoist, with a 2:1 block.
thicker is better. get the thickest plate you can afford. you'll never regret it. If you can move your bench without a forklift, its probably not thick enough. forget 1/4", it will buckle and warp in no time. 1/2" whould be considered as an absolutel minimum thickness for the top. most work benches Ive had have been 1" thick or in a few cases 2". The thicker the material, the more likely it is to keep its shape, and stand up to abuse. it can also take a lot more of a pounding without flexing.
straighter is better. an uneven bench will quickly frustrate you. take the time when building your bench to get the material as flat as you possibly can. when you are building frames, or other objects, you will have a much easier tome of things if the entire surface is flat. for production work, consider spatter; laying 1/4" or 1/2" 'spacers' under the entire job will keep it flat much more surely than laying it directly on the bench, for obcious reasons. the bench surface is really just the 'datum'. if you have got big money, it is worthwhile paying to have the entire surface trued. Ive only had one bench like this. it was really great.
level is better. this one really is important. if your bench is really heavy, it should pretty much stay where it is. if it isnt heavy, bolt it down once its level. this really makes easy work out of building medium-large frames and pipework because it increases your options for squareness. you can use a square, or a level. if you need an exact angle on something, you can use a digital angle level.
knick knacks; if you do a lot of frame work, it may be worth your while to fit a 'rail' to two sides of your bench. you can easily clamp material to it (after sitting it on spacers to keep it off the bench surface) and knock up dead square, dead true, dead even frames in very little time. this is simple and brilliant.
if you have the time and the patience, you can scribe out your whole benchtop in a grid. professionally made benches i have used have machined scribe lines ever 10mm with color coded lines every 50mm, and are marked out with their measurements. this makes it really fast, accurate and easy to lay out work without the need for 'ok, check length, check square, check diagonals, looking good, now pick up welder, nod helmet down, weld, oh crap... earth lead wasnt on... now ive bumped it! now i have to set up again...' having the grid makes it simple to layout parallel, or square and gives you a very fast visual on locating parts and whether they are all appropriate lengths.
to keep a ballance of having a nice clear bench with the need for things fixed to it, use a slotting system. it doesnt need to be fancy. use large diameter SHS for the legs (2" or 3") and make sure you can buy the next size down of the same material, and that it is a really snug fit inside. then build the frame for the bench, and cut out the corners of the benchtop over the top of the legs (making sense here?) now get those cutouts and weld them onto the smaller SHS, so when you slide them back in you have a really nice looking bench, but when you take them out, you have holes you can use. now use the smaller SHS material to make mounts for your bench grinder, drill, vise, etc etc. you can make a rack to store all these under the bench. easy.
If you do a lot of production work, you probably have jigs. i have all my jigs on a piece of pipe, and it nests inside a larger piece of pipe as with the SHS legs. I have a hole cut in my bench with a piece of the larger pipe (the female) welded underneath it. each jig has the smaller pipe welded to it (the male) with a 1" long piece of the larger pipe welded onto it to limit how far the male goes into the female. now all my jigs can rotate. this saves a lot of strain at work, especially with heavy items. While jig making is a seperate subject, you can angle the jigs in such a way that all the parts locate themselves by gravity, and require minimal clamping. locating pins etc on the down side only. now all spatter rolls off automatically, saving clean up time.
if you do a lot of pipe work, having a rotator is excellent. even a manual one. you can build a manual rotator pretty cheaply. mount it in a bit of SHS so it goes in the slot on your bench
i once had a job where they let me use a custom built 'jigging bench' this was a real treat... it was like a supersized version of a milling bed, with T-slots, and a grid layed out, the surface fully true. the surface was treated with some form of anti spatter material... nothing ever stuck to it. it was so fast to setup for prototyping, there was a large supply of inserts with clamps, angle adjustments etc that just clamped right in. one guy on the nightshift welded something into the table to make a jig one day.... he was instantly fired. Im not sure how much that table cost, but probably more than a years wages for me. you may be able to re-use this idea on a smaller scale.
if you only do small jobs, an old mill table off a broken mill may be just the bench for you. they are a great surface to work on. if you're needs are very specialized, you may find you can get an appropriate bench from somewhere else. A friend who only welded bicycle and motorbike frames by gas welding had an old lathe bed as his bench, and it was perfect for him. it was dead true, and he made up special locking clamps to hold things in it.
finally, treat your bench well. any surface can be used for welding, but a benches true use is in its surface as an accurate datum, for fabricating and locating work easily and consistently. dont weld things to your bench, dont use it when your mig wire is too long to just shorten the wire instead of cutting the wire off. dont use it to test your welder settings. dont grind it or cut it. keep the surface clean and true; have a little holder for pliers to cut your wire, have a little bin on the side for all your wire scraps. have a little broom chained to the bench. a good bench is a source of pride, and a measure of your workmanship
Shaun
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Nice article. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
--
Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://NewsReader.Com /
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I agree. Lots of good points and the reasons why
Thanks
Jay
Curt Welch wrote:

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A DARN FINE ARTICLE ON WELDING TABLES!
Thanks.
Steve
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On Sat, 24 Feb 2007 06:19:30 GMT, "Shaun Van Poecke"

EXCELLENT! post.
Gunner, 4x9 welding table..and needs the fork lift to move it.
Political Correctness
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